Actively Manage Communication Channels As A Project Manager
Communication seems like it should be easy. After all, we do it all the time—chatting with coworkers when we arrive at work in the morning, sending emails all day long, calling suppliers or customers. But doing communication well in a business setting is harder than it looks. You not only need to be clear about the messages you want to send. You have to think about the way you communicate. It is likely to influence other people’s impressions of you as much as anything else.
The options are endless. You need to consider whether the message you want to send will be better received if written (memos, e-mails, reports, etc.) or delivered verbally (face-to-face meeting, phone call). Should you meet with people one-on-one or in a group setting? Put in a lot of prep time or be impromptu?
A lazy project manager spends little time thinking about these issues. He or she tends to load up team meetings with a lot of “for your information” announcements. Team meeting time is far too precious to waste in communication that could be shared by other means. Project Management Software helps PMs eliminate the need for extraneous meetings.
To be an effective project manager, you need to put as much thought into planning communication as anything else you do for the team:
Consider the purpose:
Are you trying to involve others in a discussion or decision or simply passing along information about a decision or action already taken? Is the information targeted at one person only or many people—and what will they do with the information? What is the long-term goal? You don’t want to exclude someone from a meeting who should be involved in a critical decision.
We have all been subject to phone calls, e-mails, and presentations that took far too long to come to the point. So, structure communication to get to the purpose quickly. Follow guidelines for good written or verbal communication so people don’t get distracted by unimportant details. With WorkOtter’s Project Portfolio Management Software, PMs can easily attach comments, notes and other media to specific projects, programs, deliverables, milestones and tasks. Project Management Software makes efficient communication easy.
Despite our best efforts to be effective communicators, we can’t really control what other people hear. Get in the habit of following up with people. That way, you can check their understanding and clarify any confusion.
According to some estimates, a project manager can expect to spend more than 80% of his/her time communicating in some way. She’d better know how to do it well!
Project and Portfolio Management software like WorkOtter makes efficient communication and follow-up quick and easy. Communicate with with team members and stakeholders across multiple projects and programs. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see the all the benefits of using Saas Project Management Software.
“Project Management: 24 steps to help you master any project” by Gary R. Heerkens is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Purchase the book on Amazon.